DRFC -Villa v Doncaster preview
Doncaster travel to Aston Villa on Wednesday hoping to reach the 5th round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1956 and an away tie at either Everton or Liverpool.
Villa drew 0-0 at home against Wigan Athletic on Saturday and still occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot.
Recent home form (last game first) DWDWLD
Rovers drew 1-1 at home with Norwich City on Friday night extending their unbeaten run to eight games.
Last time they played away they won 2-1 at Southampton.
Recent away form (last game first) WWDWLL
Martin O`Neill is expected to make a number of changes for the replay according to reports, keeper Brad Friedel will be rested and replaced by Brad Guzan.
Stylian Petrov serves a one match ban and Emile Heskey is ineligible.
Ashley Young is available after suspension.
John Carew may also start after recently returning from injury.
Rovers have no fresh injury worries and boss Sean O`Driscoll may once again make a number of changes, in the last two league fixtures he`s made four changes from the previous fixture.
New signing Dean Shiels is ineligible for the tie.
Doncaster are some what of a bogey side to Aston Villa with the Midlands side only ever recording one victory in eleven previous meetings.
Doncaster have won four, with six draws and one defeat.
The clubs met in an epic FA Cup 4th round tie in 1955 when it took five attempts to eventually find a winner, in a similar situation to this Saturday Villa were flying high in the top flight whilst Rovers were fighting relegation in the old Division Two (Championship).
After drawing 0-0 at Belle Vue the two clubs met four days later at Villa Park, Rovers took a 1-0 lead but eventually the game finished 2-2 after extra time.
Both clubs played in the League on Saturday before they met for a third time in nine days this time at a neutral venue (Maine Road, Manchester City), Rovers again took the lead through sixteen year old Allick Jeffreys, Villa equalised and the two clubs still couldn`t be separated after 120 minutes of football.
Both clubs once again played League games on the Saturday before meeting for a fourth time on the Monday once again at a neutral venue (Hillsborough, Sheff Wednesday), the games were taking place in the afternoon due to no floodlights and after another ninety minutes of stalemate extra time couldn`t be played because of diminishing light.
With the Fifth Round due to take place on the Saturday the two clubs met for a fifth and final time just 24 hours later at The Hawthorns (West Brom) and this time Rovers finally won after two goals from Allick Jeffreys helped them to a 3-1 win, their seventh game in seventeen days and 510 minutes of FA Cup football.
The two clubs met more recently in the Fourth Round of the Carling Cup in 2005 when an awesome performance by then League One Doncaster gave a poor Aston Villa a 3-0 drubbing at Belle Vue, only James Milner, Martin Laursen, Wilfred Bouma and Gareth Barry are still at the club from that humiliating defeat for Villa.
A lot has changed since at Aston Villa and they are now managed by the excellent Martin O`Neill who is proving that you don`t have to spend millions on foreign imports to do well in the Premiership, eight of those that started last weekends win at Sunderland are English and the vast majority are under 25 years of age.
They play a good old fashioned style of football with two speedy wide men in Ashley Young and James Milner; they also have plenty of pace at the top of the pitch with Gabriel Agbonlahor leading their attack.
I have found them a pleasure to watch this season and it`s good to see a club getting into the fight for a Champions League spot other than the usual four.
When the two clubs met just over a week ago it finished goalless with Agbonlahor for Villa and Woods for Doncaster both hitting the woodwork.
Full history of results (League unless stated)
1936/37 Doncaster Rovers 1-0 Aston Villa
1936/37 Aston Villa 1-1 Doncaster Rovers
1954/55 Doncaster Rovers 1-1 Aston Villa FA Cup
1954/55 Aston Villa 2-2 Doncaster Rover FA Cup after extra time
1954/55 Doncaster Rovers 1-1 Aston Villa FA Cup after extra time, neutral venue
1954/55 Aston Villa 0-0 Doncaster Rovers FA Cup, neutral venue
1954/55 Doncaster Rovers 3-1 Aston Villa FA Cup, neutral venue
1970/71 Aston Villa 3-2 Doncaster Rovers
1970/71 Doncaster Rovers 2-1 Aston Villa
2005/06 Doncaster Rovers 3-0 Aston Villa League Cup
2008/09 Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Aston Villa FA Cup
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